#1 – Taking away a right that predates New Mexico as a state
This is it, the final, #1 example of how the Governor has been derelict in her duties and failed all New Mexicans as a leader and human being. The Governor’s attack on stream access is atrocious because it is one of the most direct examples of pay for play in recent memory, and she took away a right of all New Mexicans, and most didn’t even realize it.
If New Mexico is a body, water is our lifeblood, with rivers and streams our veins and capillaries. The heritage of our water belonging to ALL New Mexicans is something that was recorded in law back when New Mexico was a territory. It is part of our constitution. And then upheld by our state Supreme Court. And the supported by the opinion of not one, but two state Attorneys General.
However, all it took was one wealthy out-of-stater, maxing out political contributions to the Governor to amend the constitution, taking away public access to streams that run adjacent to private land. This particular donor bought up a big chunk of property along the Rio Chama, which he now charges more than $2000 a season for other wealthy out-of-staters to “privately” fish. All the while New Mexicans, many who have fished the same rivers for generations, are locked out behind razor-wire fences and “No Trespassing” signs.
The rich and greedy get richer while everyday New Mexicans are left on the other side of the fence, unable to enjoy the precious water that their grandparents may have enjoyed.
As you tune in to Governor Martinez’ State of the State Address today, keep our Top 5 list in mind. There are many other disturbing times when Martinez failed us. Although this is her last legislative session as governor, we cannot let her off the hook for these past failures, just as we can’t for anything she does this last year.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana